“STOP SOP” has won… but will it win?
The “STOP SOP” slate for the Bencher elections (for the Law Society’s governing body) damn near swept the Board. There were 24 lawyers nominated on that slate (12 outside of Toronto, 12 in Toronto): 10 of the 12 Toronto lawyers running on the slate were elected; all 12 of the outside Toronto lawyers running on the slate were elected.
Another Toronto lawyer, Joseph Groia, (re-elected bencher), was on the receiving end of a 9-year Law Society prosecution (persecution?) which ended with him winning at the Supreme Court; he wasn’t on the slate, but he doesn’t agree with a mandatory SOP. I respect his opinion, but I respectfully think him wrong: if it is a matter of private conscience, as he feels, then there shouldn’t be a declared professional and public “diversity principle” extant, period. An “opt out” leaves in place the wrongful and immoral position that the Law Society has ANY business taking sides in contentious cultural issues, issues which often even aren’t clearly defined and are, sadly, frequently subject to deceitful mis-definitions and mis-characterizations by diversity advocates. That said, I admire his guts and principles and hope he votes with the slate on this one.
In short, 22 out of the 40 elected benchers ran specifically on a promise to revoke the SOP, and a 23rd doesn’t believe it should be mandatory, so let’s see them get rid of the SOP ASAP.
That said, I do greatly worry that it will be “Brexited”: a clear electoral mandate nullified by judicial/tribunal delays (which rarely seem to slow progressive victories, for some odd reason), bureaucratic opposition and volte-faces by people who said one thing to get elected and do another thing once safely in office.